A hysterectomy is a major operation performed to remove a woman's womb and, although most procedures are performed safely, risks associated with this type of surgery are high. Errors made during this type of operation may be considered medical malpractice and a hysterectomy negligence claim may be brought to compensate for any pain and suffering caused.
If you have suffered because of medical negligence causing errors with your hysterectomy, contact us today for a no-obligation discussion about how we can help you get the compensation to which you are entitled. Call us on 0800 014 7481 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you at a convenient time.
Read About Negligent Hysterectomy Cases We've Dealt With
Case study - constant pain, scars and depression following negligent hysterectomy – £42,000
Pauline was left with constant abdominal pain, unsightly scarring and depression after a negligent hysterectomy. Sally Leonards, one of the experienced medical law experts at Hospital Negligence, took on her case and secured an admission of negligence from the hospital responsible for Pauline’s injuries and £42,000 in compensation for her.
Ureter damage during the hysterectomy
Mother-of-two Pauline underwent a hysterectomy in July 2008 when she was 38 years old. However during the operation the surgeons damaged both her ureters (the tube that takes urine from the kidneys to the bladder). The surgeons attempted to repair the damage with a further procedure about 10 days later however after she was discharged Pauline suffered on-going urinary tract infections and abdominal pain. In the coming weeks Pauline underwent further investigations and procedures to try to put things right.
However Pauline’s pain continued and in February 2009 she was referred to a pain clinic for help. Pauline was experiencing a constant dull ache that got worse if she lifted or carried anything. Furthermore Pauline developed problems with her urinary function and found that she needed to go to the toilet very frequently and often very urgently. The hospital undertook investigations which revealed that her bladder was unstable. She underwent a procedure in February 2012 which did improve these problems significantly.
However this procedure left Pauline extremely debilitated for a several weeks and with an enlarged abdomen and unsightly scarring. Her mother helped her to care for her two children while she recovered from the worst of the surgery’s effects. Pauline later developed depression as a consequence of her ongoing problems and ordeal and was unable to return to her job as a cleaner for more than three years after her hysterectomy.
It was clear to Pauline that something had gone badly wrong with the hysterectomy and after seeking advice she was put in touch with specialist solicitor Sally Leonards. Although nothing can make up for Pauline’s pain and suffering she is now in a better position to cope after Sally negotiated a £42,000 compensation settlement for her.
Case study: failure to investigate incontinence following hysterectomy - £25,0000
Fifty-year-old Connie endured two years of urinary incontinence after doctors failed to properly investigate why it was happening following her hysterectomy.
She had suffered with uterine fibroids for a number of years and as the pain and discomfort were getting worse she agreed to have a hysterectomy. This was carried out without incident but in the immediate post-operative period she had a lot of abdominal pain and distension.
She was discharged home after a few days, but her problems continued and nine days post-op she started to experience symptoms of stress incontinence. Connie consulted her GP who eventually referred her back to the hospital.
Failure to diagnose the cause by two specialists
By the time Connie saw her consultant again three months post-op she was leaking urine to the extent that she had to wear a pad at all times. However, the surgeon clearly did not think the incontinence had any connection with the surgery and referred Connie to the physiotherapist for pelvic floor exercises. She also started her on a drug to reduce the symptoms of an overactive bladder (Vesicare).
As the symptoms did not improve Connie asked for a second opinion. She then underwent an ultrasound scan, which showed nothing abnormal, and she was prescribed a different drug to try and improve the incontinence.
Things continued very much as before and Connie underwent a cystoscopy (camera into the bladder) but this too failed to find anything wrong.
A third specialist discovers negligence
Gradually the incontinence got worse and in desperation Connie asked to be referred to a 3rd specialist. By this time, it was 17 months since the initial operation. This surgeon suspected there may be a vesicovaginal fistula (connection between the bladder and the vagina) and sent her for special urodynamic investigations.
It was still uncertain that the problem was a fistula so Connie was referred to yet another urological expert who undertook an MRI scan. At long last, after almost two years and four consultant urologists, a definite diagnosis of a vesicovaginal fistula was made and Connie underwent repair surgery, which completely resolved her urinary problems.
The incontinence was clearly due to a fistula right from the start and although the fistula was small and hard to identify the surgeon who performed the hysterectomy was negligent in not further investigating Connie’s symptoms. Incontinence developing soon after hysterectomy is well known to be associated with a vesicovaginal fistula. This is not necessarily negligent in itself but failing to investigate and treat it is (as in this case).
Connie sought help from the medical law experts at Hospital Negligence who investigated her case and identified the failures in care. Although nothing could make up the two years of suffering Connie endured, Katie Nolan, the specialist solicitor who handled her case was successful in securing her £25,000 in compensation.
A hysterectomy is a major operation carried out to remove a woman's womb. However, it is only usually performed when all other treatment options, including much less invasive techniques, have been considered.
Those most likely to require this type of surgery are women aged between 40 and 50. Because removal of the womb will bring obvious complications regarding fertility and the ability to birth children, many younger women attempt to delay this procedure wherever possible.
Consequences of Negligent Hysterectomies
Given the nature and sensitivity of this type of operation, the consequences should something go wrong can be very serious. In addition, there is often an extended period of recovery and the risk of side-effects is high.
The most common risks associated with hysterectomies concern damage to the bladder or bowel. While it is not uncommon for accidental damage to occur, it will only be deemed a case of medical negligence if the surgeon and their team fail to recognise and respond to their mistakes.
For instance, an accidental hole left untreated in the bladder or the bowel might lead to a urine leak caused by the development of a communication between the bladder and the vagina, otherwise known as a vesico vaginal fistula.
Common hysterectomy errors can include:
- Damage to the ureter
- The development of infection
- The administration of incorrect medication leading to side-effects
Talk to Us
Negligent hysterectomies can be very serious and if you have suffered due to the negligent actions of a medical professional, an experienced legal team can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us on 0800 014 7481 or complete our online enquiry form and we can discuss your situation in more detail.